Friday, 15 March 2019

You're moving where?

It's been a while since I last wrote.

In fact, looking at blogger I see there were several posts that I never published. I'm not sure why. So you must forgive my complete lack of writing mojo, it's something you have to do often to let it flow easily. This isn't going to flow easily.

But I do need to write because I keep getting asked the whys and whats of "you're moving where?".

Several weeks ago I wrote to my landlord's agents to ask what the scores were about continuing in Epping Upland. They were fine, no changes, I'd move to a rolling agreement with just a month notice and I could start thinking about doing boring things like repairing the skirting board and perhaps a little light redecoration. It wasn't ideal, for many reasons, but I was relatively settled.

And then...

Well then missy decided that she, quite rightly, would like to fund a more permanent place in Croatia. It had to happen sooner or later and meant that I could think about somewhere that didn't have the issues which came with the place. Namely... traffic noise, no easy way to get to the pub in the next village and a lack of community in winter. It wasn't too bad in summer, but winter... Well winter was rubbish and fairly lonely.

Don't get me wrong, I knew it would be like this, but I wasn't getting to see anyone.

So I started looking, something big enough for one but not shoebox, something affordable, something with a community. A veritable Kinder egg of the accommodation world. Yeah, right.

Affordable for one meant nowhere nearer than a stupid distance to London, which meant that any savings I might make on the accommodation would be utterly broken by the travel budget. And as I'd already learned community is something impossible to measure unless you've spent time somewhere.

I even looked at a few places along the south coast and was left with that sinking feeling of being a parody of Waiting for God without a Tom as a foil to my inner Diana. I was definitely not ready for that.

Which brings us to Sark... I'd been fortunate enough to visit the island in February during a gale force 8-9 storm with hellish rain. And I loved it. There was most definitely a community spirit. I had more conversations with people in a simple walk than I ever did in weeks in Epping Upland or even Epping. And definitely not in the two years I lived by Limehouse Marina. Did you know that in those two years I could count the conversations I'd had with my neighbours on one hand. Three of those were with the same chap in number 88.


And then there is the UK. I'm fed up with it. I'm fed up with the rudeness and how selfish everyone is. And the endless anger. When did it become acceptable to have stand up rows in the street because people don't let you do your own thing in a world where everyone is centre stage. But also... brexit. A simple idea that has directly contributed to a rise in the unpleasant index of a once supportive country. When this all kicked off two years ago I had a very clear vision of what was to come, nothing has happened to show I was wrong. At the time I decided that I would get out, leave the UK, I just didn't know where and I knew that it would be potentially impossible to move to mainland Europe in the meantime. Okay so there was a point where it wasn't just a possibility but was the plan. But like people, plans die.

So a lovely place with friendly people, pubs and no cars or streetlights. Outside of the UK. It was sounding good.

Especially as I lay there at 5am listening to the beginnings of the constant drone of vehicles driving past the cottage that wouldn't abate for several hours before starting again in anger.

There was something else. As much as I theoretically lived in a bucolic idyll it was not ideal with the littlest offspring to visit as he couldn't just go wandering off exploring the lovely countryside without  crossing an incredibly busy B road with no footpath. It simply wasn't safe.

Food is available...
So what if he could visit? And those visits could be weeks at a time with him being able to go off, hang out with other kids and explore? The kind of thing I did growing up in the 70s. And on an island.

It sounded... perfect.

Okay there were problems. Getting there is a bit of a pain, but this is not unsolvable.

So with this in mind... I found a place and put in an offer.

It was accepted.

...and proper tea!
Since then things have fallen in to place and, incredibly, the dots of steps have been joined by tenuous lines. And those tenuous lines have become solid. So solid that as I write this my worldly goods are in a lorry heading to Portsmouth and I'm working wherever I can find a place to sit. I think the move has to be the subject of another blog about the realities of moving to an island. In the channel. With no cars.

It will be worth doing.

It will be exciting.

It will be an adventure.

First though I have to complete the move and paperwork. For now I'll leave you with the latest thing I've changed; The marker on Google maps for... home.

I arrive next Wednesday.